Good Lord, My Man's a Spy! ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS
Byline: Compiled by Charles Legge
Elyesa Bazna, valet to the British ambassador to Turkey in World War II, was a German spy. What was the outcome of his treachery?
ELYESA BAZNA (1904-70) was the Albanian-born valet to Sir Hughe Knatchbull-Hugessen, British ambassador to Turkey. He photographed secret British documents before approaching Ludwig Moyzisch, an attache at the German embassy, became a German agent in 1943 and was given the codename Cicero.
Bazna obtained information about many international conferences and bombing raids, including preliminary details about Operation Overlord, codename for the Normandy invasion. The Germans reportedly paid him [pounds sterling]300,000 -- a staggering sum in the Forties -- but infighting and disbelief among the High Command kept them from putting his secrets to good use.
Bazna's spymaster, Ludwig Moyzisch, published Operation Cicero in 1950, and his book was made into a movie called 5 Fingers starring James Mason as Bazna (renamed Ulysses Diello).
M. Kahn, Coventry.
NO LASTING damage was done by Bazna's disclosures to his Sicherheitsdienst (security service) controller, Ludwig Moyzisch, and he resigned as Sir Hughe Knatchbull-Hugessen's valet in 1943.
The only significant item compromised was Overlord as the codename for the D-Day landings, which the Germans disbelieved. Anyway it was later changed to Neptune.
In July 1945, the Foreign Office asked MI5's Guy Liddell to limit the number of counter-intelligence personnel who knew of the incident, but he explained that five detainees had already volunteered details to interrogators.
When news of the retired ambassador's indiscretion leaked, he became an object of ridicule. Bazna didn't do terribly well. The currency he'd received in payment from Moyzisch turned out to be counterfeit and he served a prison sentence in Turkey for distributing it. He died in 1970 after failing to get any compensation from the Federal German government.
Nigel West, editor of The Guy Liddell Diaries: MI5's Director Of Counter-Espionage In World War II, London SW1.
Does anyone have any details about a BBC TV show I enjoyed about 20 years ago called Up To Something?
IN 1989, the BBC launched a primetime sketch show called Something For The Weekend. It was the Corporation's response to ITV's light entertainment shows Copycats, Knees Ups, Cue Gary! and The Grumbleweeds Radio Show.
Susie Blake was chosen to headline the series. She had been a regular on Russ Abbott's Madhouse and Victoria Wood's Acorn Antiques, but had achieved particular fame after her great turn as a bigoted middle-class continuity announcer on Victoria Wood's As Seen On TV.
She headed a team of up-and-coming comics, including Caroline Leddy, James Gaddas, Mike Doyle and Mike Hayley.
However, this type of variety show struggled to find an audience. By 1990, it had been moved to a later time slot and renamed Up To Something!
While the content was broadly the same, it was almost entirely recast; only Mike Hayley remained. …